When the Oscar-winning writer Alexander Payne arrived at a screening and Q&A for Nebraska – his black ‘n white, father ‘n son indie road movie – he wouldn’t have expected a heroes welcome. But that’s exactly what the Nebraska Coast Connection gave him.

Bruce Dern and Will ForteBruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska

The NCC is a group of Nebraska-state natives working in the film and TV industry. Brought together by a geographical connection but with a wider goal, catalysed by Nebraska’s considerable role in the entertainment business, the 1000+ group meet monthly.

"This movie has such a resonance for us because so many of us grew up in small towns," said Todd Nelson, the group's founder and a freelance television producer for CBS. "I'm so proud that [Payne] has introduced Nebraska to the world in a way that isn't just football and Bruce Springsteen." (The L.A Times)

Nebraska sees old, cranky dad Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) travel across the mis-west to pick up a fabled $1million sweepstake prize, while his son (Will Forte) reluctantly accompanies him. Along the way, a slew of Woody’s accumulated acquaintances come out of the woodwork after hearing of his supposed new riches.

Watch the trailer for Nebraska

The film has been a hit with the critics so far, accumulating a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Is Nebraska a comedy or a drama?” asks Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers. “Like life, it's both. Payne takes his time. Deal with it. This is a movie to bring home and live with, to kick around in your head after it hits you in the heart. It's damn near perfect, starting with the acting,” he says in his review.

"We have Harold Lloyd, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, Fred Astaire, Henry Fonda, Dick Cavett - we're a proud bunch," Payne said of the group. "I'm sure other states have some organizations, but I bet none of them are as large and well organized as the Nebraska Coast Connection. It feels like being home."

Nebraska hits cinemas in the UK on December 6th, while the U.S have had it since November 15th.